Italian GP 2007 preview & TV times

Italian GP 2007, Monza, circuit diagramHistoric Monza is the scene of the next round of the championship with the title battle having closed up in Istanbul.

Each of the three drivers chasing Lewis Hamilton made inroads on his lead in Turkey – Fernando Alonso is now five points behind, Felipe Massa 15 adrift and Kimi Raikkonen 17 behind.

There are only four rounds left after this one – and if any of the leaders falls to more than 10 points behind his team mate they could soon find themselves having to play the backup role.

British fans note qualifying will be broadcast on ITV 4 this week.

The track

Monza usually sees the lowest downforce settings of the year. Though it will be interesting to compare how the cars turn out for the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, which features a mix of long straights and short, tight corners that could mimic Monza’s demands more closely than any other circuit.

The teams have already tested their ultra-thin wings trimmed for maximum speed. the cars exceed 340kph on the run to the first corner, before braking heavily for a tight, narrow chicane.

At the request of the GPDA the second chicane now has a tarmac runoff area but drivers will not be allowed to get away with cutting the corner.

Around 80% of the lap is spent at full throttle. Most drivers will have a new engine at this race, but with the next stop being another high-speed venue – Spa-Francorchamps – preserving engine life will be critical.

As usual qualifying will be very important and so will the run down to the first corner.

TV times – Britain

Schedules from ITV and Radio Times

Grand Prix Qualifying live – Saturday 8th September 12.30-14.30, ITV4 (Qualifying starts 13.00)
Grand Prix Race live – Sunday 9th September 12.00-14.50 ITV1 (Race starts 13.00)
Grand Prix Race highlights – Sunday 9th September 22.45-23.45 ITV1
Grand Prix Race highlights – Monday 10th September 18.00 ITV4

McLaren-Mercedes

Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Mercedes, 2007 | Daimler ChryslerHamilton has had two tyres failures in three events and will be hoping he’s seen the last of any unreliability.

With overtaking no easier at Monza than anywhere else qualifying will be crucial to determine which of the two drivers comes out on top. Alonso’s qualifying effort with a damaged car last year was mighty (before he was controversially penalised) but Hamilton is returning to the scene of his GP2 title triumph last year.

Renault

Heikki Kovalainen did a fine job to race with the BMWs at Istanbul, but the R27 might not have enough in it to keep up this weekend.

Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, could be fighting to keep his place in the team.

Ferrari

Ferrari have had good straight line speed this year so a one-two will be expected. In testing they again looked good on the longer runs but struggled a little for one-lap pace. That could leave them vulnerable to the BMWs at the start of the race – especially if McLaren lock out the front row.

But they will have enormous home support on their side.

Honda

Honda have a radical upgrade planned for the Japanese Grand Prix (as do Ferrari) and as aerodynamic efficiency rather than outright downforce is the name of the game here they might not have such a bad race.

BMW

BMW were superbly strong here last year, allowing Robert Kubica to score his first podium.

Expect them to keep the front runners honest and even hold up one or two of them for a few stints as they did to Fernando Alonso last time.

Toyota

Need a strong result to get back on terms with Williams (who, after all, are using their engines). Ralf Schumacher was a lapped 15th last year – the team need him up at the sharp end with his team mate, whose Turkish Grand Prix was ruined by Fisichella.

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault, Istanbul, 2007 | GEPA / Matthias KniepeissWith Renault engine power and that slippery Adrian Newey design Red Bull could have a good weekend – if the car holds together.

Williams-Toyota

Fifth in the championship, the best Williams can realistically hope for is to still be there at the end of the season.

To do that they really need Alexander Wurz’s qualifying performances to match his team mate Nico Rosberg’s. Another modest haul of points this weekend will help keep Red Bull and Toyota at arm’s length.

Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Vitantonio Liuzzi is making a case for his place in F1 as he keeps the highly-rated Sebastian Vettel behind him. But is there anyone on the pit lane likely to take Liuzzi on?

Spyker-Ferrari

Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto will get the use of the B-spec F8-VII this weekend. It will be interesting to see what Sutil can do with it – he was able to mix it with the Toro Rossos and Hondas last weekend.

Super Aguri-Honda

A fine qualifying lap by Anthony Davidson at Istanbul was poorly rewarded when he was delayed by Trulli’s spinning Toyota at the start. Points are likely to be out of the team’s reach this weekend – but if a lot of runners fall by the wayside Davidson needs to be the man that brings home the points for Super Aguri.

Predict the podium for the Grand Prix – leave your comments below.

Related links

Tags: / / / /

Advert | Go Ad-free

18 comments on Italian GP 2007 preview & TV times

  1. Red Bull-Renault with Ferrari engine power? Methinks you have cut and paste that in from last year’s Monza preview! ;)

  2. Three engines in three years, it’s a given I’d drop the ball at some point. Fixed.

  3. Ali AydoÄŸan said on 4th September 2007, 15:04

    1-Alonso
    2-Hamilton
    3-Heidfeld

    I am expecting BMW s to do something on Ferrari pair, similar to what they did to Alonso in Ä°stanbul. Since this is a race that can possibly bring them another podium result, they would attempt a teamwork on the second fastest team(I guess Ferrari for this race, if they werent running with a full tank on the test?). It seems Kubica is not a good defender yet, whereas Heidfeld almost always defended perfectly this season. So if Heidfeld can come out in front of Ferraris after 1st stop, he can get to the podium.
    Hope to see a good fight on circuit one day this season :(

  4. Robert McKay said on 4th September 2007, 15:59

    I too am expecting something “a bit more” from BMW. I doubt they’ll win, but a podium on pace is a possibility. I expect them to be harrying the top 2 teams a bit more this weekend.

  5. Robert McKay said on 4th September 2007, 16:01

    Oh, and presumably qualifying is on ITV4 because of the Rugby World Cup?

  6. Yes it is because of the rugby why F1 qualifying is on ITV4. And I’ve been told that qualifying for the Belgium GP is on ITV4 as well. Again because of the Rugby

    As for the podium:
    1. Raikkonen
    2. Massa
    3. Kubica

    Just a hunch

  7. Ferrari sandbagging in recent test?

  8. Wesley said on 4th September 2007, 21:37

    Glad to see no one is overlooking the potential of BMW for this race.I hope to see Heidfeld on podium this weekend.

    GO BMW !!

  9. 1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th September 2007, 23:05

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Felipe Massa

  11. Keith – interesting prediction. Do you really think Ferrari were sandbagging? Or that the test times are representative of their qualifying pace, but their race pace is better?

    I was very surprised by their test pace. Monza obviously would seem to suit their car, and I’d have imagined they’d have put in more effort into a Monza specific aerodynamic solution than McLaren and BMW.

  12. I really think BMW can upset the applecart this weekend as long as they live up to expectations and nothing goes wrong.

    I predict the podium to be:

    1. Alonso
    2. Heidfeld
    3. Hamilton

    The FIA announcing they have new evidence in the Spygate saga, might have an affect on McLaren this weekend though – could that be the whole point of making the announcement today?

  13. Robert McKay, you are correct. At the time the Italian GP qualifying is on, there is a Rugby World Cup match being broadcast.

    I’m expecting:

    1. Massa
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Heidfeld

    because I expect that McLaren will be penalised for getting too close to Ferrari in the world championship.

  14. They won’t be penalised prior to this race though surely Alianora?

    That may very well be the result once McLaren are wiped from the record books though… ;)

  15. Alonso was last year!

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.